It's a fascinating read, with so much information about the backstories and how Starbucks operates. I like how they revamped their mission statement which is now: 'to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time'. Anyone in the service industry struggling with issues on expansion, authenticity, quality... should get it.
In the book, it's mentioned that the kind of coffee Schultz likes is the kind he can prepare at home, using an apparatus known as the French press. I thought wow! Maybe I should get one myself, whatever he's having cannot be that bad! The picture below is a screenshot of the book with the barista serving coffee from a French press.
The sort of coffee that's made with a French press is called, simply, 'brewed coffee'. This can be made at home, and there are at least two ways to make this kind of coffee. The most common is the 'drip' method where water is allowed to drip through ground coffee (coffee that's crushed to small pieces) with a piece of filter paper. The other method is the 'steep' method where hot water and ground coffee are mixed so that coffee is produced. Another kind of coffee is the espresso, and this is produced by highly pressured water being blasted through ground coffee. You need a 'espresso coffee machine' to do this.
Starbucks sells espresso and its variants such as cappuccino, latte and mocha. You can also get brewed coffee and what's fun is that you can also bring coffee home and brew it yourself like what Schultz does. My colleague Fuad helped me understand how this works. Starbucks sells whole bean coffee. This is coffee that is not ground yet so they are big and fat. So what happens is that you choose a flavour, give it to the person at the counter (barista). The size of the grind needs to be 'coarse' for a French press; it cannot be too fine. The barista will open the packet, pour the coffee beans into the machine, and use the same packaging to collect the ground coffee, and then give it back to you.
I got the Bodum CHAMBORD, an elegant piece of equipment that is probably the gold standard as far as the French press is concerned. It's available at the basement of CK Tang and Takashimaya. They have basically cornered the do-your-own-coffee-with-the-French-press market I reckon.
|Bodum CHAMBORD and Starbucks Pike Place Roast coffee|
- Put coffee into the flask*
- pour in boiled water that's cooled a little
- stir for a while (this moment is magical)
- wait for 4 minutes
- push the plunger down to filter the coffee
|Close the top and wait for 4 minutes, then push the plunger in!|